The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) gives members of the public a right to access copies of documents, other than exempt documents, that we hold.
You can ask to see any document that we hold. We can refuse access to some documents, or part of documents that are exempt. Exempt documents may include those relating to national security, documents containing material obtained in confidence, material that is commercial-in-confidence, or other matters set out in the FOI Act.
Your request must:
- Be in writing
- State that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
- Provide sufficient information about the document(s) to allow us to process your request, and
- Provide an address for reply.
You can send your request:
The FOI Officer
National Health Funding Body
PO Box 1252, Canberra ACT 2601
If you wish to use a third party to make a Freedom of Information request on your behalf, you need to provide a specific, written authority to send copies of documents to you, care of that person, or to allow that person to inspect copies of documents containing information about you.
If access is granted to the documents under the FOI Act, you will be provided with either a copy of the document(s) or the opportunity to inspect them at our Canberra office.
There is no application fee for a Freedom of Information request.
There are no processing charges for requests to access documents containing only personal information about you. However, processing charges may apply to other requests. Applicable charges are:
|Search and retrieval: time spent searching for or retrieving a document||$15.00 per hour|
|Decision making: time spent in deciding to grant or refuse a request, including examining documents, consulting with other parties, and making deletions||First five hours: Nil, Subsequent hours: $20 per hour|
|Electronic production: retrieving and collating information stored on a computer or on like equipment||Actual cost incurred by the agency or minister in producing the copy|
|Transcript: preparing a transcript from a sound recording, shorthand or similar medium||$4.40 per page of transcript|
|Photocopy: a photocopy of a written document||$0.10 per page|
|Other copies: a copy of a written document other than a photocopy||$4.40 per page|
|Replay: replaying a sound or film tape||Actual cost incurred in replaying|
|Inspection: supervision by an agency officer of an applicant’s inspection of documents or hearing or viewing an audio or visual recording||$6.25 per half hour (or part thereof)|
|Delivery: posting or delivering a copy of a document at the applicant’s request||Cost of postage or delivery|
If we decide to impose a charge, we will give you a written estimate and the basis of our calculation. Where the estimated charge is between $20 and $100, we may ask you to pay a deposit of $20, or where the estimated charge exceeds $100, we may ask you to pay a 25% deposit before we process your request.
You can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced for reasons such as financial hardship, or on the grounds of public interest. If you do so, you should explain your reasons and you may need to provide some evidence.
We will advise you within 14 days that we have received your request and give you an estimate of the charges that apply to your request. We will give you our decision within 30 days unless that time is extended. We may seek your agreement to extend the time by up to 30 days if your request is complex. If a document contains information about a third party and we need to consult, the time to give you our decision may be extended.
Unless the information is personal or is about the commercial, financial or professional affairs of a person and publication would be ‘unreasonable’, any information provided to you in response to your request will be listed in the Freedom of Information Disclosure Log and published on our website.
When we have made a decision about your Freedom of Information request, we will send you a letter explaining our decision and your review and appeal rights.
You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed:
- If we refuse to give you access to all or part of a document or if we defer giving you access
- If we impose a charge, or
- If we refuse to change or annotate information about you that you claim is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.
A third party who disagrees with our decision to give you documents that contain information about them can also ask for our decision about that information to be reviewed.
You can request in writing that we reconsider our decision through an internal review. An internal review will be conducted by another officer in our agency. We will advise you of our new decision within 30 days of receiving your request.
You can ask the Australian Information Commissioner to review our original decision or our decision on internal review within 60 days of the date of decision (or 30 days after you are notified if you are an affected third party). The Information Commissioner can affirm or vary the decision or substitute a new decision. The Information Commissioner may decide not to conduct a review in certain circumstances. More information is available at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website.
As a result of major changes to the FOI Act, Australian Government agencies which are subject to the FOI Act, are required to publish a range of information on their web sites as part of an Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This includes the agencies structure (links to governance section), functions (links to governance section), appointments (links to working with us section) annual reports (links to annual report page), consultation arrangements (links to working with us section), and details of the agency’s FOI officer. Information routinely released from FOI requests and routinely provided to parliament must also be published online.
The Scheme is intended to form the basis for a more open and transparent culture across government with agencies encouraged to take a proactive approach to publishing the information they hold, and to consider what they should be publishing over and above what they are obliged to publish.
The NHFB Freedom of Information Disclosure Log is a list of documents disclosed in response to Freedom of Information requests. NHFB is required to publish a list of documents obtained under Freedom of Information within 10 working days of the applicant receiving the documents.
There are certain exceptions for publishing documents. These are:
- Personal information or information about the business, commercial, financial or professional affairs of any person if publication would be unreasonable
- Information determined by the Australian Information Commissioner not to be disclosed
- Information that cannot reasonably practicably be published because of required deletions to the document.
Note: There are no FOI releases by NHFB that meet the criteria for publication at this time.
If you require further information, please contact the Freedom of Information Officer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning NHFB on 1300 930 522. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website provides useful information about the FOI process, publications and resources.